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Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to turn Toronto area into a model smart city

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to turn Toronto area into a model smart city
From TechCrunch - October 17, 2017

Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs, the Google parents company focused on smart city technologies, will build a mixed-use, complete community in Toronto on its eastern waterfront, with the aim of building a livable space from the ground up using innovations in construction techniques, self-driving, climate friendly energy systems and more to build a community thats affordable and accessible with a focus on connected tech.

Thats obviously an ambitious project, but some of the groundwork is already being laid: Alphabets Google will be the flagship tenant for the new neighbourhood, anchoring the easter waterfront, to be called Quayside, and Sidewalk Labs has committed $50 million to kick off pilot testing and planning in partnership with the City of Toronto.

Sidewalk Labs won the contract through its response to a Request for Proposals issues by Waterfront Toronto, and organization created by the Canadian federal government, the Ontario provincial government and the City of Toronto together to foster development of Torontos lakefront areas in ways that address urban sprawl while respecting the realities of climate change and taking into account the ability of the citys residents to get around efficiently.

The area involved in the RFP that Sidewalk Labs will work with the government coalition to develop spans around 800 acres (though 12 acres are specified for the initial project), and is one of the largest underdeveloped urban areas in any North American city, making it a good target for Sidewalks ambitious vision, which involves building smart cities holistically from the very start. Ultimately, the partners hope to turn the area into a place for tens of thousands of people to live, work, learn and playand to create and advance new ideas that improve city life, according to a release from Sidewalk.

Google will kick things off by relocating its Canadian HQ, and around 300 employees to its new anchor office in the district, and infrastructure to prevent flooding and other necessary structural elements to the region, including roadwork, will be funded by $1.25 billion in committed funds from city, province and federal sources.

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